Banco Santander (Brasil) represents our first investment in a Brazilian company. With emerging markets such as Brazil contracting somewhat as China slows, and money moving out of emerging markets based on expectations of a change in U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy, we were afforded a pricing opportunity in what we believe to be a very attractive bank. Although Banco Santander S.A. (BSBR
), a large Spanish bank, is a significant shareholder of Banco Santander (Brasil), the Brazilian bank is an independently listed subsidiary with its own management team, board of directors, and capital base. At initial purchase, Banco Santander (Brasil) was trading right around tangible book value, below 10 times 2013 estimated earnings, and had a dividend yield of approximately 5%. For a bank, it is extremely underleveraged (19.9% Tier 1 capital ratio), has high net interest margins, and among its three local competitors, has the highest consumer exposure to what we believe will continue to be a rapidly growing middle class over the longer term in Brazil.
From Tweedy Browne
's semi-annual 2013 report
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